Known to many as the Bodmer Library, the Martin Bodmer Foundation outside of Geneva is a library and museum whose permanent collection attempts to retrace the history of civilization through writing. Bodmer established the library in the 1920s and built two neo-Baroque houses in the town of Cologny to house works focused on five pillars of world literature: the Bible, Homer, Dante Alighieri, William Shakespeare, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Today, the collection includes more than 160,000 items.
Highlights include a Gutenberg Bible from 1452, a first edition print of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses from 1517, and the oldest surviving Gospel of James, as well as a collection of 22 papyri discovered in Egypt in 1952. Known as the Bodmer Papyri, the latter include segments from the Old and New Testaments, writings of Homer, and pieces of early Christian literature.
Visit for free with the Geneva Pass, which includes admission to over 30 city attractions, such as the towers of St. Peter's Basilica and the Art and History Museum.
The Bodmer Foundation is open Tuesday to Sunday from 2pm to 6pm, and is closed on Monday. The foundation is located in Cologny just a couple miles outside of Geneva. To get there, take bus A to the Cologny-Temple stop or bus 33 to the Croisee de Cologny stop. Audio guides are available free of charge from the museum reception desk, and free guided tours (with the purchase of an entrance ticket) are available on select museum dates.
Admission to the foundation is 15 CHF for adults and free for children ages 16 and younger. Visitors carrying the Geneva Pass enter free.